Less Traveled 2010

Tracy Pou



Highlight from History: Bettis Academy

Posted 4/22/2010 4:18:00 PM

Bettis Academy

A trip to historic Edgefield County wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Bettis Academy. Established in 1881 by Rev. Alexander Bettis, a former slave who could read but not write, Bettis Academy provided a spiritual- based curriculum that provided literacy, occupational and teacher training for young African American students who didn’t have access to the traditional public school setting.

The Academy was accredited as a Junior College in 1933. When it closed its doors in 1952, the school’s campus included 14 major buildings on 350 acres. Today, three historic buildings still stand. One of those buildings, Biddle Hall, now houses an African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center.

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is open Tuesday-Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call the museum during operational hours at (803) 663-6681.

Bettis Academy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.